XMOS sets course to automotive market

February 28, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
In order to get its feet onto the ground in the promising ($8 billion) automotive market, chipmaker XMOS has shouldered the not insignificant effort to get some of its products qualified according to AEC-Q100. The company now announced a selection of its xCore multicore microcontrollers that could fit the needs of automotive electronics designers.

With its deterministic architecture and modular redundancy particularly suited for safety-critical applications, the xCore architecture should quickly find prospective designers. This feature set makes the architecture well suited to develop functions associated to automated driving and advanced driver assistance systems. In the automotive context, XMOS puts emphasis on the Ethernet AVB technology which is emerging as the future de-facto standard for infotainment applications and beyond.

Due to its low latency and its deterministic behaviour, the xCore architecture is already used for the design of next-generation ECUs as well as in x-by-wire applications which in most cases are time-critical and safety-relevant. It is also suited to address control tasks in power train, chassis and active safety systems, and to provide the combination of audio interfacing, DSP processing and low latency processing required to implement premium vehicle features such as active noise cancellation for car passengers.

The company plans to start its sequence of offerings to the automotive industry with the XS1-L16A-128, a 16-core device which features boasts a computing power of up to 1000 Mips. Through a programming environment based on the C language, interfaces and peripheral units can be configured according to the needs of the respective application - a feature it shares with all xCore devices. For the second half of the year, XMOS plans to roll out additional offerings with 6 to 16 cores.

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